The Best Concerts in NYC This Week: Guided by Voices + Built to Spill + Iceage + Cass McCombs + The Pains + Death Cab for Cutie + The Faint + Blondie + more goodness!
Written by Patrick McNamara
The following concerts this week are the best. Pick the ones you want to go to. And then let me know what time you’ll be picking me up. Just so you know. I’ll be wearing a teal and red cardigan. In case you wanted to get me a matching corsage. But it’s cool either way. I’ll just pretend this bouquet wasn’t for you.
Built to Spill play Brooklyn Bowl tonight. And Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. And Wednesday at Bowery Ballroom. But that’s perhaps confusing things. What’s crystal clear is that Built to Spill are one of the best indie rock bands of the last twenty years. Don’t pretend you don’t “even know what indie rock even means anymore” either. You know what it means. But I’ll let this song remind you anyway.
The Faint play Bowery Ballroom tonight. As mentioned on this thing last week (where my 13 regular readers at!) without this band there would be no Whoa My Blobness. I was working in a record store at the time, you see, and Claire Rockness came in to exchange a CD of The Faint that was the wrong version of…. you know what? Nevermind. Some other time. I thought I just saw you pouring gasoline over your head and getting ready to light the match.
Semi-legendary noise vets Swans play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. If you don’t wear earplugs to this show you’re a psychopath. And if you’re a psychopath you’ll fit right in at a Swans show. So it’s really a win-win either way.
Blondie (est. 1975) play Rough Trade. It’s free. Sort of. You have to buy their new album to get into the show. I won’t tell you the name of the album. Because I don’t work at a record store anymore. Labels can’t make me do ANYTHING ANY MORE!!!
Speaking of albums and record stores and The Faint (same label), Conor Whoa Burst plays his record release show at Rough Trade tonight. Tickets will be sold at the door. I love you, Conor Whoa Burst. Your bright eyes make my heart explode with woe.
Walter Schreifels of Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand and Rival Schools and Mr. and Mrs. Schreifels plays Union Pool tonight with Shellshag. Remind me to tell you about the time I got punched in the face at one of those Quicksand reunion shows. I got a little too close to the pit. And got hit with an errant fist. I didn’t mind it so much. The gentleman was just feeling the music. By shadowboxing the air around him. Which also included the parts of people. Like my face.
Teenanger (read that name again) play Death by Audio tonight. Ho-hum. Just another solid punk band from Toronto. It’s like, save some for the rest of us, Canada. Why should YOUR country get all the good comedians AND good punk bands? Regardless, if you like solid sock-hop garage psych punk (and who doesn’t!) check out Teenanger (read that name again).
Other notable shows = Future + DJ Twin Shadow at Weylin B. Seymour’s in Brooklyn (FREE) + Built to Spill (yeah yeah yeah already mentioned) at Music Hall of Williamsburg + Uh Huh Her at Highline Ballroom.
OK. Wednesday. The night in the middle. Hunchback Day. WHO YOU GOT! (btw, my life’s dream is to celebrate Hunchback Day at Notre Dame Cathedral someday.)
There are some good up-and-comers of the (mostly) punkish persuasion at Baby’s All Right tonight. Deleted Scenes + Krill + Palehound + Verma would all like to play their (mostly) punkish songs for you. Won’t you let them into your (mostly) punkish heart?
The forever prolific Mirah (she’s released 10 full length albums alone - and let’s not even talk about singles, 7”s, collaborations, and EPs - let’s not even talk about it!) and reigning Queen of the K Records Crew plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. You know what to do.
#BehindtheBlob - I just read a 9 year old profile I wrote on Mirah for Whoa My Blobness. And it was terrible. So I deleted it. This has been this week’s installment of #BehindtheBlob.
And D'Angelo is in conversation with somebody or another at Brooklyn Museum tonight as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival. “D’Angelo. I want to go back to 2000 now. Talk to me a little bit about your abdominal muscles on the cover of Voodoo.”
Let’s pick it up now. Let’s pick it up. Because things are heating up! And we’re about to be on fire!
Give me indiepop and no one gets hurt. Because I can go from zero to bitch in 3.5 jingle jangles. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart play Bowery Ballroom tonight with Fear of Men and Ablebody. Have you listened to their new album, “Days of Abandon” yet? You should. It’s really good. And I should mind my own business.
Death Cab for Cutie play The Capitol Theatre. I’m not familiar with this band. But judging them by their name, I highly doubt I’d be into them. I’m not into twee goth so much. That band Bumblebee Bloodshed is pretty cool though.
Cass McCombs plays Music Hall of Williamsburg. And he’s one of the finest singer songwriter troubadours we’ve got. I think I’m qualified to say that unequivocally too. Because I saw him play Pianos in like 2003. No big deal.
Andrew W.K. talks with somebody or another at the Strand tonight. He’s one of my favorite people on the planet. And I don’t even know him. #buddha
The regular dance party FIXED is at Output tonight. Simian Mobile Disco DJs. Daniel Avery plays. JDH & Dave P keep things booming and grooving in between. You’ll have a good time. If you can hang late. I know you can. I believe in you.
Other notable shows = TEEN at Baby’s All Right + Leverage Models at Cameo Gallery + Reigning Sound and Nude Beach at Brooklyn Bowl + American Royalty at Rough Trade + Erik Friedlander at SubCulture + The So So Glos at The Westway
Legendary indie rock vets Guided by Voices play Bowery Ballroom tonight. And like Built to Spill, this is not when you pretend you “don’t know what indie rock even means anymore.” You know what it means. Get that questioning outta here. This show is sold-out. But if you don’t have a ticket don’t sweat it. The band comes back to town in July and August. And if you miss them then, don’t worry. They are going to break up. Then reform. And tour more. From now. Until the end of the world. Which granted, could only be a few years from now. Have you seen the new climate change studies coming out?
Math-rock vets Trans Am play Knitting Factory tonight. They were one of the reasons I got into this “indie rock” (oh, stop it, you) in the first place. I remember when I went to the record store to buy their second album “Surrender to the Night” there was a warning sticker on the front that said “your CD is not broken - the songs are supposed to sound like that.” Ahh. Those were the salad days of good old “indie rock.”
By law I am required to talk about Frankie Cosmos every week on this thing. Therefore, I must tell you that they play Silent Barn tonight with Radiator Hospital and some other good bands. Because I don’t want to go to prison. Do you know what they do to blobs in there?
(BRAND NEW STREAMABLE ALBUM ALERT)
Maximo Park play Gramercy Theatre tonight (with Eternal Summers at Jeffrey Lewis). I saw these angular English synth poppers play Rothko on the LES years ago (with Hot Chip - it was their first ever US show - neato!). Do any of the 13 people reading this remember Rothko? If you do, let me know. We can talk about how we never thought we’d reminisce about Rothko.
Denmark dark chilly punks Iceage play Glasslands tonight (and Sunday at Home Sweet Home). By the way, the home we call Earth is anything but sweet. The world’s polar ice caps are melting. We’re burning ourselves up. It’s not time to think about saving the planet. The planet is going to keep spinning just fine. There just might not be any human beings left to live on it. Let’s enjoy the shreds while we can.
Great lineup at Shea Stadium tonight led by Scottish punks PAWS + Canadian shredders The Dirty Nil. Also playing is this college kid / future star named Alex G (click his name - just do it - you know you want to). He’s going to be big time. Or at least he’ll open for Kurt Vile someday. See him now so you can say you saw him when. Bet.
And if you live in or want to go to New Jersey, Titus Andronicus (a tragedy - first performance in 1594) + Baked (they make the most delicious pastries) play Asbury Lanes tonight. Yes. It’s a bowling alley. If you like good pop punk you should check out that venue’s summer lineup. It’s like a who’s-who of good up-and-coming pop punk bands I’ve recently profiled on Whoa My Blobness. Anybody want to go in on a Zip Car?
Other notable shows tonight = Oneohtrix Point Never at Music Hall of Williamsburg + Pujol at Mercury Lounge + Shilpa Ray at Baby’s All Right + Dave Hill’s Valley Lodge at The Rock Shop
Ava Luna + Grass is Green lead another good show at Shea Stadium tonight. That place sure seems to be booking a lot of good shows these days. It’s a tough big bad world out there. So score one for the little guys.
Other notable shows tonight = Silicon Valley (Oh My Rockness calls it “laugh out loud funny”) + Mad Men (Oh My Rockness says “it’s not as good any more but it’s still pretty good and that’s better than most”) + the Couch by Couch West Festival.
Thanks for reading! Let me know when you cook up a plan. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting. Just a boy in his cardigan wondering when his doorbell will ring. I hope you like your bouquets with carnations and baby’s breath.